When my kiddos are bickering (this rarely happens, we are such a sweet family…please read that in my sarcasm font), I have cultivated one question. “Do I need to get involved?”. Are they able to figure this out on their own through compromise and effective listening? Or, do I need to get involved?
When their dad or I get involved, we are probably not going to be too concerned with who started what. However, they can be sure we are definitely going to dole out consequences that they wouldn’t have chosen for themselves. Garage clean-out day, anyone??
When they figure it all out on their own, it’s a win-win for us. They get to try out those all-important interpersonal communication skills like listening, negotiating, and compromising. And we don’t have to feel like whistle-weilding referees in our own home.
It doesn’t always work out exactly like that, but it’s a step in the right direction toward raising little humans…who will someday become big humans…who might actually be great people…who are pleasant to be around. (That’s a soapbox of mine, and another post topic someday…I’m keeping a running list.)
Okay, back to getting involved. Between my kiddos, and in the safety of our home, where the stakes aren’t too high, we’ve got it down. Basically. But, what about when the dilemma of getting involved or standing down, is at school, or church, or involves another adult? In the words of my middle daughter, “oooh, things just got reeeeeal”.
That’s where we are. We’ve found ourselves in a situation, where we can no longer stand down. We have decided to get involved. When it involves one of her bear cubs, this mama bear will unapologetically go down that road.
Sure it might be easier to let it go. Doing nothing is almost always less complicated than doing something. Except when it comes to the people you love and care for. We’d undertake any hardship for them, wouldn’t we?
I want my children to learn how to advocate for themselves, and become self-sufficient, confident adults. To be certain, adulthood is still a long way off. Until then, I’ll prayerfully approach each situation, and ask, “Do I need to get involved?”.
And when that answer is a resounding “yes”, my prayer is that I can effectively communicate my concerns, reach a place of understanding, and let my child know that they are 100% supported along the way. I want to come to the table with those all-important interpersonal communication skills I learned when working it out in my youth.
Then, I’d like to reach a resolution, and move on, with everyone better for it.
Besides, life is short, and I’d rather be playing UNO…
How do you know when to get involved and when to let it go? Cue the music, and lyrics about the plight of a beautiful princess with icy powers….you know you were thinking it, too.